June 9, 2023

What’s next for the iPod?

Earlier today, we reported that Apple is no longer selling its iPod shuffle or iPod nano on its website. This is significant because the iPod was one of the revolutionary products of its time. Before the iPod, MP3 players were hard to use and weren’t that popular. However, the iPod was easy to use and quickly became popular. Over the years, Apple iterated and tried a slew of different things with the iPod line, such as or adding a touchscreen or support for capturing video.

While iPods were a commercial success and Apple truly had a revolutionary product, the devices started ot show their age, especially when the company itself cannibalized the iPod with the iPhone. “An iPod, a phone, an internet communicator. An iPod, a phone… are you getting it?” is what Steve Jobs touted back at MacWorld in 2007. The iPhone could do everything an iPod could, and then some.

Apple tried to keep the iPod product line alive with the iPod touch, which is still available today. The iPod touch hasn’t gotten a major update since 2012, but it runs the latest version of iOS and is one of the last remaining 4-inch devices in Apple’s lineup (aside from the iPhone SE, which is not getting an update any time soon according to rumors). The iPod touch doesn’t support Touch ID fingerprint recognition, has an outdated camera, and lacks a constant cellular connection, which is essential to any device in the modern age.

It’s been clear since 2012 that Apple wants to kill the iPod. We’re in an era where a connected device is essential to our daily lives. And as technology evolves, only a small subset of users sync with iTunes to get music onto their devices. Most play music via Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, or Apple Music. That’s something that’s lacking with the current (or rather, former) iPod lineup. It would come to no surprise that Apple will continue to support the latest iPod touch until it can no longer be supported by iOS. From there, Apple’s focus should be on its new media player product, the HomePod, which comes out later this year for $349.

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